Frank Carius

Author: Frank Carius
Enterprise Architect / Partner – auf LinkedIn vernetzen

Microsoft Teams plays a central role in most organizations’ day-to-day internal and external communications. This makes it all the more important to ensure the performance and reliability of this essential communication channel at all times with a Microsoft Teams monitoring tool.

In this blog post, we compare the built-in Microsoft Teams tools with Rimscout. Our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive picture of Microsoft Teams performance and quality.

Microsoft Integrated Tools – the built-in monitoring tool

Do you need an external monitoring tool when Microsoft Teams collects a lot of data by default? Microsoft recognizes that audio and video issues in Microsoft Teams, in particular, often have a root cause that cannot be found directly in the tool itself.

In this case, Microsoft provides several Microsoft Teams analysis tools with the built-in resources:

  • Client Details
    Any user can launch a function on the client to get information about the current data rate, latency, and some other information about the current audio/video connection.

  • Call Reports
    Client information is also sent to the backend, allowing an administrator to access each user in the Admin Center. The current and past audio/video connections can be viewed in detail here, enabling support tickets to be answered.

  • Teams Call Quality Dashboard (CQD)
    The CQD allows you to run time-shifted Microsoft Teams reports through a web interface or through Microsoft Power BI, providing initial overviews and comparisons. However, the dashboard only contains data from past calls.

Limitations of the built-in Microsoft Teams tools

Although the built-in tools in Microsoft Teams provide a comprehensive view of communication quality, they have their limitations. In general, the built-in tools focus mainly on analyzing historical data and offer few options for proactive monitoring of Microsoft Teams in real time.

On the one hand, the analysis effort is quite high, as many problems have to be investigated manually. In the case of call reports, for example, the data provides concrete indications of whether latency or packet loss is above defined limits, or if TCP is being used instead of UDP. However, each user must be considered individually in order to make comparisons.

On the other hand, the built-in tools are limited when it comes to identifying and analyzing network problems outside of the Microsoft Teams infrastructure. In the Quality Call Database, you only have data when a meeting or call has taken place, but how does your Microsoft Teams performance look the rest of the time? Other sources of data, such as network utilization or session border controller data, are also not considered.

Rimscout: Proactive real-time monitoring in focus

Rimscout extends the capabilities of the built-in Microsoft Teams tools by continuously monitoring Microsoft Teams performance, regardless of whether a call is in progress. This dense monitoring makes it possible to compare quality with and without a Microsoft Teams connection. Simultaneous analysis of multiple devices provides a direct comparison of locations, making it easier to identify local network issues.

We also understand the importance of UDP for Microsoft Teams. With Rimscout, you can see in real time which devices in your locations are currently unable to establish a UDP connection, without having to manually go through each call. Microsoft’s CQD report only provides complete information if you have uploaded and fully maintained the location information.

In Rimscout Health, you can see from the gray bars if the UDP connection is blocked in several places.

Of course, there is some overlap in functionality: for example, both products measure Wi-Fi signal strength and latency to the Microsoft Teams conference servers in the cloud. However, Microsoft Teams only measures latency to the conferencing service and does not check intermediate stations or other cloud services. This data is critical to understanding if the problem is at the first hop, on your own LAN, at the transition to the provider, or at the provider and its peering to Microsoft in case of high latency.

With Rimscout, you can monitor critical network parameters in real time to identify problems in the local network or in connectivity to external cloud services. In addition, Rimscout provides advanced analytics and custom tests for comprehensive IT infrastructure monitoring.

For each device, you can see the individual latency times to the respective network stations in Rimscout.

Together for success: Rimscout and Microsoft Teams Built-in Tools

The following table provides a detailed comparison of the strengths and differences between the Microsoft Teams built-in tools and Rimscout:

Criteria MS Teams built-in tools Rimscout
Monitoring focus Historical data analysis, individual connections Cross-network, real-time, proactive problem identification, own tests possible
Data availability Only after calls/meetings have taken place Independent of calls, continuous
Identify network issues Limited to Microsoft Teams infrastructure Comprehensive analysis including local network problems
Latency measurement Until the conference service Including intermediate stations and cloud services
Troubleshooting support
Individual connection analysis for support tickets Direct and comprehensive network analysis

In summary, the built-in tools are primarily used to analyze individual connections and provide Microsoft Teams-centric analysis of connections that have taken place. Rimscout, on the other hand, is a permanent and independent real-time monitoring tool that provides a complete overview of the network and allows you to react proactively if necessary.

However, the choice between Microsoft Teams’ built-in tools and Rimscout should not be seen as an either-or decision. Rather, both approaches together provide a complete set of tools for IT administrators to efficiently monitor and improve communication and collaboration across the enterprise. By leveraging the individual strengths of each tool, a robust and reliable IT infrastructure can be built to meet the demands of modern business communication.

Experience the benefits in action!

Use our 30-day trial version and test all Rimscout features directly in your IT environment.